Yeah, Chemi was my host in Kamakura
This morning I woke up feeling very strange, and when I tried to say good morning to Chemi's mom, I barley spoke at all. "Ahem" I cleared my throat, and then I tried again. It was a little shaky, but it managed to come out. "Asa" I told her mom, it must have been the morning. When I came out of the bathroom her mom had already taken it upon herself to make me a very nice, hot, and a bit exfoliating cup of tea. "Good for throat" she told me in English, looking back to Chemi for acceptance. I sat down at the table with Chemi and my cup of tea, and we began planning the day. There were so many temples Chemi wanted to see, and she explained to me that she sort of uses couchsurfers to travel around her own city because she has never toured around it herself. Apparently, I was couchsurfer #2, and #1 could have gone better (but no pressure, only how her parents feel about my stay will determine if Chemi gets to have anymore csers). In her bathroom I saw tuns of little Mexican looking dolls, and the room itself was done up very spanish looking, with deep red painted walls and colorful jagged line patterned blankets. I asked her about it as we set out for the day, and apparently Guatemala is her second home. She said she was more comfortable with her Spanish than her English, so she was a little worried about how I would communicate with her, but I told her she had nothing to worry about (I would guess she was American because her English seemed fluent and her accent didn't seem to differ from my own).
First stop, what Kamakura is famous for, The Giant Buddha:
We took a real quick spin around the giant statue, and then it was time to head out (we had a big day ahead of us). She also said she wanted to get through most of the temples before it started to rain on us. Also, in the evening she was going out with friends for a party, and she invited me along, but it was one of those invites where you could tell she would rather not bring a stranger over, and I always would rather not impose, so I told her I could entertain myself in the afternoon and evening while she was out. She told me I had to be at her house for dinner, and I just was honest. "Chemi, thank you so much for worrying about me, but your family doesn't speak English, and my Japanese is pathetic" "No it isn't" she began to say, and I just gave her a look that said more than words, and she conceded. She has already gone above and beyond what I could have hoped for by just letting me sleep at her house and showing me her town.
Quickly moving on she took me thought the very narrow crowded streets with all sorts of shops and outdoor markets. The streets were packed with people and color, I simply loved it. We went into a bunch of shops searching for souvenirs for me because Chemi said that the Kamakura shops are the best shops to find great, cheap, and authentic Japanese souvenirs. Here we actually found Joe one of those straw cone hats that he had been searching for, and it was only $6 US, but at the same time, I didn't want to carry the thing around. Also, I explained our situation, and Chemi agreed that he didn't deserve the hat (harsh, but maybe my story was biased). Then, just walking down the normal looking small town roads, we came to a street that was just loaded with these balls of flowers:
The next temple's hand washing station:
Moving onto the best rock garden so far in Japan!
This next temple we met up with one of Chemi's friends, and so the two of them hung out a lot while I kept wondering off accidentally.
I swear, they were right behind me! Why is it I find bamboo so distracting?
Walking to the next temple on Chemi's list of things to see we passed through the infamous tunnel (at least it was to me):
Next temple still:
And then the 3 of us went out for lunch back in the shopping streets, and after that it was finally time for Chemi to head out, and so I spent the rest of the afternoon window shopping. Here I found the cutest cat coin purse made out of a hard leather with a magnetic lock, and I thought of June. It was pretty cheep, and I really loved it, and to top it off, it was my favorite color!
In the evening when I made it back to Chemi's house she still wasn't home, but I had still missed dinner (darn it!) I let her mom know I already ate, and that I was full, so she let me off the hook. Then they weren't sure what to do with me, and I told them that I would be happy just logging onto the internet and writing some blog (pathetic I know, this entry is actually being written over a year after the fact). So I did some blogging until Chemi got back, and then the two of us spend several hours talking about our travels and how dangerous/ not dangerous Central America is, and we eventually got around to my recent experience being molested. She thought it was so wrong that I had to pay for my stay there, and that it was very un-Japanese to have me do so. So... Chemi wrote me a letter in high speak Japanese (not just polite, but one step higher), explaining our position. Then, exhausted again, and my voice failing, we went to sleep.